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Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. WALDEN. I thank the chairman and the ranking member for their bipartisan and thoughtful approach to this incredibly important issue facing our country. I support your legislation. I commend you both for identifying a glaring hole in our cyberdefenses: better information-sharing between the private sector and the government.

Such sharing is a force multiplier. It combines the technological strength of our network providers with the ongoing efforts of our agencies to combat growing cyberthreats. From the get-go, the bill has protected privacy and civil liberties and ensured that any information-sharing is voluntary.

I understand Chairman Rogers has also gone the extra mile to reach out to the privacy community and will be offering and supporting amendments to address any lingering concerns that may remain from misunderstandings over the language. Breaking down the barriers to information-sharing is a linchpin to better cybersecurity, and this legislation will be a tremendous step forward in securing cyberspace for our citizens.

But don't take my word for it. That's what cybersecurity firms and researchers, Internet service providers, and government officials told the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, which I chair, in the three separate hearings that we held. That's what a bipartisan working group I convened concluded when it interviewed a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the cybersecurity debate.

By contrast, no matter how well-intentioned, cybersecurity regulations would likely just expand government, reduce flexibility, impose costs, misallocate capital, create more red tape and not more security. According to one government witness, regulating cybersecurity practices would ``stifle
innovation and harm the industry's ability to protect consumers from cyberthreats.''

Indeed, voluntary efforts, not government regulation, are already improving cybersecurity for communications networks that cover 80 percent of Americans.

When Congress is looking at a complex issue like cybersecurity, we need to heed the Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm.

So I want to thank my colleagues for making this process especially open and transparent. Representative Rogers has graciously reached out to members of the Energy and Commerce Committee to understand our concerns about protecting privacy and civil liberties and preventing regulatory overreach, and Representative Thornberry's work in organizing the House Republican Cybersecurity Task Force, which included Representatives Terry and Latta, members of my subcommittee.

The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.

Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. I yield the gentleman an additional 30 seconds.

Mr. WALDEN. The bottom line is, we're going to protect America from the greatest threat to America and to Americans with this legislation. We need to make sure that our private sector is nimble and flexible and innovative; and tying its hands with prescriptive regulation--we heard over and over again in our subcommittee hearings--would do the opposite of that and would result in the bad guys getting an edge on the good guys.

I support this bipartisan legislation. I urge its passage.


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